The 2014 World Triathlon Series kicks off in Auckland, New Zealand. Britain's Non Stanford begins her title defence in the women's race.
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Welcome to Wales where organisers are getting ready for the annual
race. This is not a conventional location for our coverage, but this
is one of many triathlons around the world acting as a curtain raiser to
the 2014 season. Throughout the winter, athletes have been in
training, now they are ready to take on the world. If the start of this
season is anything like the end of last season's, the world had better
watch out. No one can touch him. Non Stanford! It all comes down to the
final race of the year. His race is run. She is still in first position.
Non Stanford is the champion of the world.
For the Welsh world champion, it is only fitting we start our coverage
here in Wales. We are also here to mark the return to action of another
of the nation's big names, Helen Jenkins. They will also be taking in
Scotland, Northern Ireland and England as we look ahead to this
summer's Commonwealth Games. But our focus today is on the other side of
the world, in Auckland. Many of the sport's big names are in New
Zealand's biggest city to race over its tough hills. After that, it is
Cape Town at the end of April, then you're a hammer in April --
Yokohama. The fifth race of the season will be in Chicago. Then over
to Hamburg for the sprint and mixed relay World Championships on the
12th and 13th of July. After the Commonwealth Games, time to squeeze
in a last of it -- a seventh event in Stockholm before the final in
Edmonton, Canada. Some of the locations are different
this year. And at the scoring system has changed as well. The number of
points on offer is still 800, but it will be the athlete's best-of-5, not
four, that will code to the final. These changes will make it harder
than ever before to become world champion. Spear a thought for world
champion Non Stanford, having decided the best way to retain her
title was to complete and before the Commonwealth, she suffered a foot
injury. But Helen Jenkins is back from injury. She has had a torrid
time since finishing fifth at London 2012. I'm very pleased to say that
she is back in action. We went to Team GB training camp in Auckland to
catch up with her. Heartbreak for Helen Jenkins. It is
so hard. I had a lot of knee pain that started in May 2012. But it did
not get a proper diagnosis until June the following year. It was a
back problem. I had a bit of compression on one of the discs. It
was coming out on my knee. Do you value the sport now more because of
the injury? There was not enjoyment because of the pain. I was training
in order to race. When I had surgery on my back and after that, I was
able to build up in training, and nothing was hurting. It was such a
nice feeling to go out and train and not be hurting. I just appreciate
being able to do it. Last year, I don't know if I was depressed, but I
was trying to do something and do it, so there was an element of
depression. I did not enjoy anything. But I am in New Zealand,
racing, mainly does not hurt -- my knee, it is such a relief.
Confidence plays such a big role. I suppose you have to work on getting
your fitness back, and also getting your confidence back. I am aiming
for the win. But there is no pressure on me this weekend, I am
just waiting to see what happens. I am just enjoying being back. It has
been great to see some of the younger British girls coming
through, like Jodie Stimpson. They have shown themselves on the world
stage. The run speed was fast last year, but the swim speed and the
bike speed was probably a little bit slower. It will be interesting to
see what happens this year. And looking forward to getting back in
the mix. Just trying to get out there with the girls. Looking at
Auckland, have you got a strategy in your mind, or is it just wait and
see? It does look hard. But that could work on my -- in my favour.
Put your modesty in a box, what are your expectations for this season? I
would love to hit the podium a couple of times. The Commonwealth
Games is the big one. We have got medal chances there. That is a
really big game -- aim. And the team have put so much effort into me. It
is nicely have that faith in me. I really want to repay it this year.
It is great to have hell back on the circuit. She is joined by Vicky
Holland and Jodie Stimpson. Let's see how they get on.
We have stunning weather conditions. The elite athletes are being
welcomed down. That is the scene from the helicopter. We are above
Queens Wharf. This is where it all kicks off, in Auckland. We had from
Queens Wharf, two laps, into transition. The bike course contains
several steep climbs, and it takes them around downtown Auckland, into
Albert Park and out again, and the complete the loop eight times. The
red line marks the run. They will be on foot for four collapse -- four
laps. Lots of British interest today. But sadly no Non Stanford.
Anne Haug wonders contest two years ago. Vicky Holland, wearing number
25 today. Look out for number 30, Katie Hursey. Natalie Milne. Lucy
Hall, wearing number 38. And welcome back to Helen Jenkins. Louise
Rossendale wearing number 48. The elite women are lined up and
ready to dive into Auckland Harbour to begin the 2014 World Triathlon
Series. The other way, into the water, clean start. -- they are
away. Two loops. The exit the water at one of those ramps. Who is
pushing the pace at the front of the field? We can start to see the
Arrowhead begin to form. The faster swimmers will look to make a mark
and get involved in a breakaway group on the bike. We can see some
of them jostling for position. Quite tight together. Shoulder to
shoulder. Nobody getting clear yet. Some of these racers will get
trapped on the inside of this first turn. They will be looking for space
to breathe as they make this first right-handed turn. Someone get
pushed up the tide. A few of them getting pushed under and grabbing
on. It can be really vicious in a situation like this. We have seen
dislocated shoulders, fingers and eyes. That was really nasty. Some of
them are spotting as they come through and had across to make the
next turn. -- and head across. Hats here we will get a close look and
pick out some of these numbers which are on their shoulders and swim
caps. I think we have got Natalie Milne from Great Britain up there.
She has got a very long stroke. Some people think she turns over too
slowly, but I don't think so. I think she is on the row. For the
first time, we are seeing a split beginning to develop in that field.
We can see that gap just developing. Perhaps a little too ambitious for
some of the swimmers tried Tuesday with the peas. Just beginning to pay
a price. Try -- trying to stay with the pace. We have seen Natalie Milne
in this position before. She is a lovely swimmer. This course might be
a little testing for her. Still, I think, learning. I don't mean to be
rude, but she is still learning the trade on some of the strength work
on the bike. Natalie Milne leading there. Gwen Jorgensen. Alice Betto.
Lots of union flags coming through. Helen Jenkins alongside Vicky
Holland. We have got to give credit two Gwen Jorgensen. Swimming has
been a bit of a weakness, but she was really up there. A bit of aban
sense from the USA top flight from years ago and now this seems to be
the return. Around the buoy we go again. The field is more spread. We
are not seeing the barging we saw on the first, but still very, very
tight. People are moving out, actually before the buoy and not
taking any chances at all. It looks like much, much less occurrence
there. Great start for Natalie Milne of
Great Britain and we have two distinct groups, three groups, I
would say. A group of about 30, a second group of about 15 and then a
third group of around ten or 12. So, that could be the way the bike
groups work out once they've come out of the water and picked up their
bikes in transition. It's taking just under 20 minutes for the best
of the swimmers to come to the exit point, to the swim finish. 19
minutes and around 45 seconds will be the time. The Spaniard comes out
ahead of Natalie Milne. We'll get a check of of who is where. Five of
them shoulder to shoulder, including some of the British test --
contestants. They come into transition, to collect their
equipment. Helmets go on. The goggles have to go into the box
correctly. Emma Moffat puts her glasses on. Can be a little chaotic.
You need to look left and right if you come out into the transition.
Hewitt further down, more than I anticipated there. With this race
being common wealeT Games selection race for New Zealand this will be
fast and furious, because the New Zealand athletes desperately want to
try to get into a break-away group and if they can establish their
place in a small group, a lead group, it means they're Commonwealth
Games place is assured. I think this will be fast and furious. We haven't
seen anything from Anne Haug. She won this race 12 months ago, the
German. Finished in third place in the World Series for 2013. We'll
keep an eye out. It's McIlroy who leads them through at the next
hairpin. Wow, goodness me, we have a pedestrian who was ambling across
the road as they came around the right-hander and made the decent on
to Albert Street. Somebody was totally unaware of the pack of
riders coming at him. Near miss in the early stages. The pace at the
front on the bikes is tough. We have seen huge split beginning to develop
really early on. Jodie Stimpson still up there. Good news for Great
Britain. And Jorgensen there. She's with a couple of riders for company.
They finish lap number one with 29 minutes of the race completed. Seven
laps to go. Kate McIlroy and Rebecca Clarke and Nicky Samuels and Sarah
Groff, the best of the Americans so far. Moffat and Heather Jenkins and
Stimpson. Natalie Milne and Lucy Hall are equal 14th. They are all
within ten seconds of the lead. The first time we have seen Haug, who
has won this race for the last two years. She is in the chase group and
she has got Gwen Jorgensen for company, but struBle has struck --
struck -- trouble has struck for Clarke. Weigh hope she can resolve
-- we hope she can resolve the issue. There are a couple of wheel
stations, but Clarke might be too far away to call on any assistance
and that could be her race run. Haug is looking for inspiration, hoping
somebody will inject the pace and that Haug can close the gap towards
the leaders. Good, goodness me. Massive shunt. Five or six tangled
up here. Jorgensen is on the deck. She is testing her back wheel. One
or two of the Australians have been damaged as well. Charlotte McShane,
16, is getting back on and also Ashley Gentle and she seems to have
come off worse. Jorgensen eases herself back into the race. It looks
like everybody who crashed is able to continue. But that could have
been really nasty. Here we go, down they go. The domino effect on the
bike. And there's carnage on the streets of Auckland. Katie Hirsey
trying to stay upright, but lost contact. Whatever we see in the
race, we get the others coming in and they take over. There was a hit
on to the barrier on the side which initially caused that. It looks like
a couple of really nasty hits there. It was more like a rugby incident
than a triathlon incident, with one of the Australians actually, Ashley
Gentle with five or six bikes and athletes piled on top of her. Well
done Nicky Samuels. New Zealand are one and two. It's a Kiwi cam pap to
get away from the rest -- campaign to get away from the rest of them.
They'll hit the decent. There is the gap, about five seconds. They've
made an impact. Helen Jenkins leads the chasers. She will be aware of
the difference. Already, we are seeing it just beginning to close up
again. Confidence in Helen and Jodie stay right behind her. Beginning to
close down now. A little bit easier terrain, so surely they'll be
working hard. There is Jodie wearing number one for Great Britain.
Working hard. Wants to put herself into contention going into the
final. Look at that work from Stimpson. That is absolutely
stunning. Jodie said she has been doing a lot of tech neck work
through the winter -- technical work through the winter with her coach.
When a gap opens she can just cover it immediately and that's going to
put a few fears and doubts into the minds of the other athletes. Another
climb here for Stimpson. Drops in behind McIlroy. Samuels looks the
best of them out of the saddle climbing. We'll not forget that
Stimpson wons in the Austrian mountains, the toughest climb of --
won in the Austrian mountains, the toughest climb of them all and
Stimpson has joined the two New Zealanders, so we have a little
group of three. They're at the front.
Back into transition. They complete lap four and a noise as they see the
black and white-suited New Zealand riders leading them through. McIlroy
and Samuels with Stimpson. Joining that group is Sarah Brault from
Canada and there's Moffat and Betto and Klamer and Jackson and Lucy Hall
too. A massive gap. There's no sign of
the chasers. Well, they really made the statement now and you just
wonder what's going through the mind of the chasers there? There's some
good athletes there. Including Helen Jenkins and Alice Betto is doing so
much work and Alice has dropped to the rear of that pack now. Have they
just given best to it or will they catch up? The way that Jodie
Stimpson that has been running any gap that's more than 30 seconds will
have to be very tight. This is the group that contains Helen Jenkins
and Alice Betto and Lucy Hall there too. Through they come. The gap
that's grown and it looks as if the third group, which contains Anne
Haug has managed to match the hasting group. Good work, hard work
at the front of the field from Haug. One of her compatriots is there to
help her along and it's quite a sizeable peloton. About 20. There's
a 38-second gap to try to close over the leading three. Samuels, McIlroy
and Stimpson. Here we go. Into transition for the end of the
penultimate lap of the bikes. Seven down, one to go. No change at the
front. The two New Zealanders and the British number two, Jodie
Stimpson. Away they go, leaving transition. That's the last loop of
the five kilometres. 34 seconds now between the leaders and the second
group. They're into transition and led by Helen Jenkins of Great
Britain and Lucy Hall there as well. It's a big gap, but it's not
insurmountable by any means at all. Under four kilometres to ride.
Stimpson with Samuels and McIlroy in front. Could come down to a foot
race between these three. Anne Haug coming from the second group. Has a
great turn of feet. It's a huge amount to overhaul. It is Haug that
we would be looking at. It's Haug that we would be expecting to come
shooting out of that chase back now and really looking to close down.
The final lap of the bike stage is complete. The first rider in is
Samuels. Followed by Stimpson. Then McIlroy. Who is going to get the
best transition here? Lots of noise from the New Zealand supporters, as
they see Samuels and McIlroy finally get off their bikes after an hour
and 32 minutes so far. Helmets into the box. Running shoes on. Stimpson
is ready to run and she leaves in good shape. Same three in and out
quickly. McIlroy possibly just slightly left behind there. Somebody
else shuffling across the road with their luggage on the way to the
airport. We've had a couple of near-misses here today. The next
group in. The chasing group. 43 seconds behind. Plenty of good names
here. Lots of good runners. Helen Jenkins is officially 11th she'll be
eager for an explosive exit out of transition as will Lucy Hall,
officially 19th. Away they go. Haug has got her white cap on, looking
for speed on the exit of transition for the second time. Lucy Hall on
her way for her ten K run. -- 10K run. Stimpson leading and McIlroy
and Samuels. It's not lost yet. Jodie Stimpson has started roundly?
That's what Alistair and Jonny and Gomez. They come out of transition
and the first two is really putting it on the line to break away and
Stimpson has done absolutely that. That is a huge gap in the first
kilometre. She has moved away and maybe 40 metres. It's going to have
to be a miracle for somebody to close the gap over Jodie Stimpson,
but here's an early move, coming from Gwen Jorgensen. She has work to
do, because she arrived with the third group into transition. More
than two minutes down. Jorgensen we know can strike from a long way
behind, but surely that's too much for her? Top ten position might
still be within her grasp. Great to see Helen make her way through the
pack. Came out of transition a little down. She used the first 500
metres just to give herself a body check, to see how she was feeling,
but has moved to the front. She is actually challenging Haug in this
long, long chase down on the leader Stimpson. She is almost at the end
of lap number one. And she has done significant damage through the first
two-and-a-half kilometres on foot. She comes on to the carpet. We'll
get the official time between our lead Jodie of Great Britain and the
chase group, with the two New Zealanders and then the main group
of about 15, the third group. Stimpson leads. One hour and 41.35.
That's her time at the end of laugh one. Three laps to go. Can Stimpson
hold on and win the first race of the season? And the second world
triathlon series victory of her career? McIlroy and Samuels are 19
seconds behind. it was 43 seconds at the end of the
bike. We will get an idea whether it has shrunk... It has shrunk
slightly, from 43 to 39. Eight few seconds taken off Stimpson's lead.
-- a few seconds. Stimpson maintains control at the front of the race.
The gap is closing down a few seconds. That is to be expected with
a group working of each other. The chase group led by the Canadian.
Groff, Emma Moffett, doing their best to stay with Andrea Hewitt who
is in that group. Jodie Stimpson is leading.
Just coming up to the two are Mark -- two hour mark. The gap is going
to be around 30 seconds. Stimpson takes the Bell. One lap to go. Helen
Jenkins could make it two on the podium for Great Britain in her
comeback race at the very highest level.
A little bit of a gap opened up in front of Andrea Hewitt. Three
athletes striving to get the two remaining places on the podium. Anne
Haug has done the right thing. She has refused to leave it to a sprint.
She has put pressure on the other athletes to follow. Can Helen
Jenkins stay there? She is working hard for it. Helen Jenkins shoulder
to shoulder with the Canadian. She has moved in front! The Canadian is
digging deep in a desperate attempt to fight her way back into third
position. Out in front, Jodie Stimpson is almost there. What a
magnificent performance from Stimpson of Great Britain. The first
stage of the World Triathlon Series for 2014 has gone according to plan
for Jodie Stimpson. She can relax on the run in here. She is warmly
welcomed back into transition for the final time and she finishes with
a punch and a sprint. Stimpson wins in Auckland, the opening event or
2014. Annie Haug punches the air. She came from a long way behind
after a disappointing swim. She has finished in second position. We'll
be how the two British triathletes on the podium? -- will we have?
Jenkins finishes in third was not what a comeback.
Groff just gets in in front of Andrea Hewitt. Emma Moffat comes
home in seventh. Confirmation of the final results.
The first lap was the worst luck, it was terrible. I was hoping my legs
would improve. That is one of the toughest courses. I saw Kate and
Nikki and I knew it was their selection race as well. I knew that
they would not ease off. That was the defining moment in the race. I
do wish Non Stanford could be here, I hope she has a quick recovery and
joins us soon. But I couldn't be happier. It is a challenging course,
there is no easy part of it. There is no time to relax, everyone is
hurting. I gave it all and to see what is left for the run and there
was a lot left. I am so happy. I have been picking up training
gradually and I have such a great team around me. But I did not expect
to be on the podium. I love New Zealand, they produce a great
course. Jodie ran really well, I did not have the legs to go with her.
A big smile on the face of Helen Jenkins. Rightly so. Coming back
from injury and what fight back. Bronze medal for Helen Jenkins. Anne
Haug backing up her victory in 2013 and 2012. She will be a threat this
season. It looks like running strengths are excellent. Jodie
Stimpson takes her second World Triathlon Series victory, kicking
off her season in perfect fashion here in Auckland. It was not just
the victory, it was an emphatic victory. She is the one to beat in
2014. Lots of triathletes in training
here. Are you enjoying the race? I hear that you are all racing on
Sunday. This has been going for 20 years. It is a sprint triathlon.
There is also a swim. It is on a fairly flat course. If you have
never done a triathlon, this is a great place to start. Tell us how
things have been going here today. Everything is very relaxed and
friendly. That is the key to this space. A good atmosphere, it kicks
off this season for most athletes. So far, everything has been going
well. The last few runners coming in now. It has been going for 20 years,
how our numbers this year? When we first started, we were getting over
100 competitors. But the way that triathlon sport has grown, there are
so many reasons to choose from -- races. But numbers are creeping back
up now. People travel from all over the country to get here.
You have just finished this race, how did you get on? Good, I had a
good swim. Strong bike. I struggled a bit in the run. Any
-- Ellie Thoroughgood is a junior at Olympian. My aim this year is the
Commonwealth. I want to get into the squad. I have always been involved
here since I was little. The Commonwealth Games would be
incredible. But it will be tough. Wales have some strong contenders.
It will be tough. I've had three years of injuries, quite serious
injuries. If I did come back and I made it, it would be amazing. It is
inspiring hiring others here and thinking I could be part of the
team. You have raised all over the world,
what is like coming back here to race in a local race? I like it.
There is not much pressure. I put pressure on myself. Everyone is
chilled. People at the start, for many of them it is their first
triathlon. For some they want to improve, for others it is just
finishing. It is good to hit reality again. It is great I have the
opportunity to go around the world and trained with all these other
athletes. And the children look up to people like you. Yes, I like to
think of myself as a role model for them. I like to enjoy the race and
smile through it. Some of those little girls followed me round the
bike course, I saw them about six times. The Commonwealth is your big
ambition, but what about the triathlon CDs? The World Triathlon
Series is the biggest team thing. -- the biggest thing. You look at those
people on the television and you think, I could be racing with them!
We hope to see you on the circuit soon. Those elite racers at Hyde
Park last year for some of the most exciting races of the season. But it
did not go all Britain's way. Alistair Brownlee was injured. He
has decided to sit out Auckland. We saw Jonathan Brownlee lose his title
in a sprint finish to Javier Gomez. He is an Auckland.
It is Javier Gomez's victory! You ask yourself questions, what could I
have done differently? Perhaps I could stay behind all those -- Gomez
a bit more. I did not want to be in that position again. We learn a lot
from each other. I like to be training earlier, get my stretch is
done, look after myself better. I think Alistair has seen that and
realised he is not invincible just turn up and do his training. He has
learned a lot from me. Looking at the flip side, he probably forgot he
was speaking to millions of people last year when he called you a
tactical numpty. The big thing is that he cares. He wanted me to win
that race. The fact that a copy that showed that he does care. -- that he
called me that. Alistair is not the type of guy to have a quiet word
with you, he is not like that. He says it how he feels. When you are
basic, there is that element of wanting to make other people
suffered, trying to make them suffer so that you can gain control. That
is definitely the case. There is no better feeling when you are cycling
along and everybody else is hurting. You can feel them hurting. It is a
great feeling when somebody else is suffering and you are not. You are
on the podium at almost everything you go to, do you think that power
you have gives you are right to the podium almost? If you keep the ball
rolling, people can know that they are beaten already. I do know want
to turn up to a race and fit or unhealthy because then if someone
beats me, they will know that they can beat you again, they know how to
beat you. I have had 43 races for a higher being on the podium. I don't
know if that is a record. -- as races where I have been on the
podium. The Auckland course is soft if you are not a strong cyclist. I
have done a lot of cycling this year. I think Javier Gomez has done
a few half marathons. I think that might affect him. It is slightly
different training. But it is Javier Gomez. Every time I have doubted
him, he has come back and raised really well. I guarantee, at some
point in that these, I will see them. Back to Matt and Steve to see
if Jonny can get back to his winning ways in Auckland.
Varga is likely to be the fastest man in the water. The elite men are
ready to go for the opening race of the 2014 World Triathlon Series here
in Auckland. Gomes closest to us and -- Gomez closest to us with Brownlee
seasoned witched by Mola. -- sandwiched by Mola. Just a little
slow off the mark there. What a great sight that is. 67 of the
world's top all-round athletes get stuck into the waters of Auckland
Harbour. It's quite calm here for the water as it's sheltered by the
wharfs. It looked like a fast start and the women tended to stay
together, but the men are going a furious pace initially. We know it
will be tough when we see Gomes and -- Gomez and Brownlee and Mola and
he seems to have put himself in the frame. It's going to be an absolute
lie fascinating race. A tough bike course of course and something that
Gomez and Brownlee absolutely love. We saw earlier in the women's
competition how plenty people were caught on the inside on the tight
turn around the yellow buoy. Men can be pretty violent at times on the
turns. We can see all sorts of ducking and bobbing going around,
pulling of legs and the Yanking of arms and anybody who gets caught too
close to the inside turn here could be in trouble. Now, the whirlpool
begins to get exaggerated. One or two getting really tightly bunched
on the inside turn. One got right underneath it there and had a few
strokes underwater. VaRG ais un-- Varga is unscathed, forcing the
pace. He's heading to the second turning buoy now. At this stage,
he'll head back to the wharf, for the end of the first leg and the
exit and re-entry to the water. 750 down and 750 to go. Varga can see
the ramp, the exit ramp. Quite well spread now, the field. I expect 30
second or so between the first man out of the water and the last man
out. Henry Schoeman is in good shape. He'll be racing on home turf
in Cape Town on 26th April, the end of the month. He's coming out of the
water just behind Richard Varga. He adjusts his goggles. Takes a few
strides along the pontoon and dives back in. Varga and there is Brownlee
in fifth and Shaw in fifth from Ireland. Sweats and Royle and Wilson
and Van Der Stel. Tom Bishop in 15th there. All those in the end, 25
seconds between the first man in and out. Back to the turn. And Henry
Schoeman has opened up the gap and anybody's guess here really. There's
lots of body coming through at roughly the same time. Gosh, there
was a headlock there. Goodness me. A bit of fisty cuffs. I'm sure that
wasn't deliberate, but someone is going to be unhappy with somebody
else after that little incident. Slammed on to the back of the neck.
Paramedics standing by in case of any injuries. We'll see if there's
any retaliation on the next turn. Everybody is staying clear, but it
does get a little tight. Someone else has gone down. Two team-mates
there, wearing the same colours. One dunking the other. Varga has had
enough of playing second fiddle. He wants - he wants his rightful lead
restored, so he's turned on the afterburners here and has cruised up
to go shoulder to shoulder with Schoeman. It has taken 17 minutes.
Varga is first to show, with Schoeman and Brownlee and Gomez and
Ben Shaw hit the deck there. Then we can keep an eye open for the next of
the British, with Tom Bishop in 15th. And he's in good shape,
Thomas. Now they have this run to the transition area. Brownlee
leading them. They are trying to get everything right here. The Russian
is at his bike and Schoeman has found his. I think we'll have two
groups performing in the early stages here. The first five, six men
are on their way. Just a real demonstration of how much the swim
stretched out there, because it's spread out a long way down. A
possibility of this lead group getting away. Around a dozen in
there. Look the that. Sissons coming up from New Zealand. Exited in
transition with these guys 600 metres down the road already.
Brownlee is at the front of the field. You can see that with his
rock'n'roll style and his familiar white helmet. He's forcing the pace
and keen to boss things from the front and force them to break away
and get a decent lead. They would like to keep the numbers down in the
early stages. He would rather ride with eight than making a group of
28. Jonny Brownlee looking around and beginning to take command
already. He just said to Schoeman, "You get through and we'll get work
out of you." Gomes and Varga. We expect Gomez to be out there.
Poliasnski there too. It made that little gap of five or six seconds,
that's not enough at the moment, but the second group have to get
themselves working together and get organised. Just looking at the two
packs, the first group of eight, they're already well organised. Wow
expect that again -- you would expect that with Gomes and Brownlee.
And Varga. Brownlee looks behind and urging them through. Gomes indicates
the turn and now we get the first real climb and this is where the
damage could come in. That looks like the two Russians might be
coming off the back of that lead back already. What an indication of
the hot pace so soon. There's Tom Bishop from Great Britain. Good
start from Tom. Tom's come through the ranks. Me aleed at June -- med
aleed -- medaled at junior levels and now had a good swim here. Missed
the front tip and worked hard on the first lap to make sure he's in the
group that is going to be dictating the pace. Do we have Mola there in
the first group, because I didn't see him? Looking for the red Spanish
uniform, but I can't see that at the moment. The second red belongs to
Varga. Brownlee talking to Bishop. He's spotted him now. I'm not sure
he was aware of his presence in the group, but glanced back and gave him
a signal. Had a little word with him, so maybe Bishop and Brownlee
will plan on working together later in this bike leg. These six are
trying to chase them down. Luis of France, but he didn't have the swim
I was expecting. He's out of the saddle. A few words with Gomez and
invites Bishop to come up and join him at the front. This is the chase
group. That could be Mola. That is Mola there. Number three. Mario Mola
leading the chase group through. It's quite a sizeable chunk of
riders too. Numbering about somewhere between 25 and 30. .man
Sharp -- Matt Sharp in that group. The lead group is 15 seconds clear
of the chasers. We have the trio of Australians in the front group.
They're in an important race. It is a Commonwealth Games selection
event. Need good performance here. Could translate into a spot on the
Australian team to compete in Glasgow in July and August. Number
31 is Poliasnsk. He has hit the deck hard. I hope he hasn't damaged
himself, but he may well have damaged the bike. It looks like he
is struggling there. That's the gap there between the leaders and the
chasers. Mario Mola, some 53 seconds down on the leader half way through
the bike stage. That is a big, big gap. Tom Bishop there. One might
have expected coming into the senior ranks proper he would have made the
lead group and might have been content to sit there and allow the
others to do the work, just to watch and see what happens, but he's done
so such thing, but he's directly in the front. Certainly, he's earning
the respect I'm sure of the other more experienced athletes. He has
come through and he's determined to show that he's worth his place in
the front pack. It's the experienced road racer, Tom Davidson, the New
Zealander. I don't think he's moved the upper body since he took control
of the small pack. I think there were four riders in total. One of
those has been dropped down. It looks like Davidson will be bridging
the gap with the two. Yeah, it's him alongside Declan Wilson from
Australia. And number 11 is Ryan Sissons from New Zealand. Sissons
will be the one the locals will follow. He'll be the best of the
Kiwis so far in this contest now. Bishop is controlling things again.
Jonny Brownlee there. There is Davidson and Sissons and
number 50, Declan Wilson, about to make contact at last. So the front
group of 12 will become the front group of 15 and will now include
four Australians. Did you see that? That's just lovely. Ryan Sissons
looked over at Tom Davidson and patted him on the back and said,
"Thanks mate. Thanks for doing that." A deliberate plan, I'm sure.
What does Davidson do? Is he going to sit there or does she go right to
the front for the lead back and try to draw it out from there? There's
Davidson. He lead through the chase back and making -- pack and making
his way through on the big lead back for the first time. There he goes.
Maybe, just maybe, we'll see a further influx of pace. He looks
over. Has a quick look at Brownlee. Are they discussing tactics? Is
Bishop take there? Gomez out of the saddle leading through.
Brownlee having a word with him. Along the lines of, "Where did you
come from then? Who are you?" Sharing the joke with Gomez too.
Davison has single-handedly closed that gap.
The first 15 lead by the New Zealander. Here is a Kiwi leading
them through, and established road racer, Tom Davison. He is going to
have some fun with the leaders. He is already causing some ripples
here. I think that's fantastic. Another
guy mentioned to the spot. Bringing somebody in blue is even stronger
than Jonny Brownlee. -- another dimension to the sport. Davison
leading a couple of others with him. That is pushed Javier Gomez to fifth
and Brownlee to fourth. It looks as if it is shaping up for another
classic Gomez versus a Brownlee ten kilometre run. The last arrival in
transition. This time, they will dismount, park their bikes, the feat
no resting on top of the pedals as they take that final bend. -- the
feet now resting. One of the Australians will arrive there first.
They have spread out quite significantly before the transition
area. The dismount line is we are in white.
Now we head out onto the road. What can Davison produce on the tarmac?
Will it be a foot race between Gomez and Brownlee? They are on their way.
The first lap of four. We are always anticipating that these two are
going to come out hard and fast and so it has proved once again. They
have opened a gap in very early on. We saw people trying to go with
them, but the gap has opened very early on. Jonny Brownlee leading
out. Javier Gomez went to the front quite quickly, I thought he might be
content to follow Brownlee, but that hasn't happened.
Mario Mola was looking stronger. I wonder if John the -- Jonny Brownlee
feels he has something to prove? Alistair is not able to give him
roadside encouragement from here. Opening up a gap of 30 seconds. If
that is maintained, we will see a gap of about two minutes. That is
the indication at the moment. Javier Gomez has thrown down the gauntlet
on this one. He has gone to the front, he seems to be pushing and
trying to stretch out. So far, Jonny Brownlee has reacted well. He has
stayed on his shoulder, going step for step. On identical in cadence
and step. -- almost identical. You can see the Australian trio in
front. Ryan Sissons wants to get past them. Jonny Brownlee takes the
lead. Javier Gomez has been working so hard to stay in front. Jonny
Brownlee has reacted in the way that he thinks will do damage to Javier
Gomez. Whatever you have thrown at me, I have the ability to absorb it
and put more pressure on you. The Australian trio and then Ryan
Sissons. He is running himself into a Commonwealth Games slot for New
Zealand. Lap number three now. No real move from either man. You would
expect it to come towards the end of this lap, early in the fourth lap.
Or will this tussle continue all the way through to the finishing line?
That is a distinct possibility. Neither man will give anything away.
This might as well be their final race of the season, the decider.
Such is the rivalry between them. Gomez has been throwing down the
challenges like the way through. And there it goes again. Just lifted the
pace a little. What is this doing to Javier Gomez? Every time he tries to
raise their game, look at this, we are getting athletes lapped already.
If he does not get away, what goes through his mind? I have tried
everything, I cannot get rid of Jonny Brownlee, how can I change the
tactics were to mark not just in this race, but over the season. --
change their tactics? Not just in this race, but over the season. He
has led for most of this race. The final lap. 2500 metres to run.
I always have a concern for an lapped athlete -- we're an lapped
athlete tries to mean contact with the elite leaders. I don't think
that is going to happen at the moment. The two leaders are
beginning to move away now. Gomez is still bleeding. Just a little bit of
space between the two leaders. The three Australians are just
coming through now. This is where the race is being won and lost
between Javier Gomez of Spain and Jonny Brownlee of Great Britain.
These two now moving away. Gomez has opened up a little gap. He has made
the first move. Can Jonny Brownlee cover this? If you can't close this
gap, and I don't think you can, this race might go to Javier Gomez. Jonny
Brownlee unable to respond. That really was a concerted effort from
Gomez. He put his head down and increased the turnover there.
Maintaining that speed, but increasing speed. Jonny Brownlee for
the first time losing contact and the gap grows bigger. That is it
now. It is five seconds the gap between Gomez and Brownlee. Javier
Gomez with the ability to kick away. He had the reserves of
acceleration. Banning a collapse from Gomez, victory is assured for
the Spaniard to make it three years in a row where he wins in Auckland.
Jonny Brownlee digging deep now. Superb performance by Gomez. No
letting up at all. Kit challenging and challenging. -- kept
challenging. Almost like a heavyweight boxer, that one punch
goes in and changes the contest. He has raised a lot this season. He is
a racer par excellence. He has dominated in this last 800 metres.
There is no letting up. He has maintained at that speed. If there
is one man who could close that down, it would be Jonny Brownlee.
The gap is closing between the three Australians and Ryan Sissons, but I
don't think he has enough. I think there will be a sprint finish
between the Australians to claim that final space on the podium.
Last 150 metres for Javier Gomez. He will rubber-stamp his position as
the world number one. He dealt with everything that was thrown at him.
He was a match, more than a match for Jonny Brownlee. He raises his
finger. He is the world number one. The defending World Triathlon Series
champion wins again in Auckland. Gomez takes the race by storm. A
fabulous performance yet again from Javier Gomez. And the successful
British weekend of WTS triathlon here in Auckland continues with a
visit to the podium for Jonny Brownlee who will finish second.
Aaron Royle third. Absolute happiness and relief.
I felt pretty good all the time. Worked pretty hard to keep the gap.
Jonathan was really strong. But I just gave everything. It was a tough
race today. Javier Gomez, I'm always good to see him in the race. He
destroyed me to day. I am going to train for the Commonwealth. I know I
can't be fit for the whole season. That is my aim.
Javier Gomez wins the first triathlon road race of the season.
An excellent performance from Grant Sheldon in 12th. Matthew Sharp in
13th. Those are the highlights from
Auckland. Next up for us is the second leg in Cape Town on April the
26th and 27th. You can see highlights on BBC Two.
The hardiest annuals return for another spectacular display.
The 2014 World Triathlon Series kicks off in Auckland, New Zealand. Britain's Non Stanford begins her title defence in the women's race, while Team GB's London 2012 medal-winning brothers Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee are both scheduled to contest the men's race.